DailyDirt: Growing Food2.0

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The world’s population recently exceeded 7 billion, so maybe it’s time to start thinking about new methods to grow food in sustainable ways. Farming techniques are already pretty advanced (compared to just a few decades ago), but there’s always room for improvement. Here are some examples of food technology that could help keep food availability at a comfortable level before we have to resort to Soylent Green.

By the way, StumbleUpon can also recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Growing Food2.0”

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alternatives() says:

I can not believe such an important topic

as food has no comments.

Things like PCBs in the sea (and now radioactive material from barrels and failed nuclear power) bio-accumulate. Such makes on-land farming in artificial man-made tanks allow marketing as ‘not from the contaminated wild’.

The ‘X shrimp per acre’ figure does not include the acres of land needed to collect photons for the feed the shrimp eats. Don’t get too excited about the per acre figure until you calculate out how many acres are used in support.

Now if one is seeking a new food market – consider using electricity to enhance growth. It works with animals like coral http://globalcoral.org/Electric%20Reefs.htm and there was research in the past – http://www.rexresearch.com/agro2/dudgrichelcult.pdf and http://www.rexresearch.com/agro2/laemstromelcult.pdf

bjwest says:

Re: Re:

Some crazy people are trying to work out how communities can become their own little colonies trying to produce everything one needs to be auto sufficient anywhere.

We’re way past this stage. There are far too many people on this planet for this to be viable for even the majority, let alone the whole. No, unless we do something to not only curb our population growth, but also decrease the present population, our current society is going to collapse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

and yet, the increase of population has also led to an increase in life spans and a better society as a whole. Sorry, but I never buy the whole “need to kill half the population” argument. Not unless you believe in a master race and whatnot.

And as for “some crazy people” comments, well thats what they said about the internet as well

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Life span has little to do with future availability of raw resources except for the fact that increases the consumption number and helps put a strain on them.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see what is going to happen, yeast used to produce beer do it all the time and die off in a closed system, earth is a closed system and so space eventually will run out, technology can only do so much.

So yes population is a real concern, the old system was that rich countries bought what they needed from others it is getting expensive because the poor countries now are needing it for themselves for their own populations that are starting to be able to afford it.

Japan and the UK are 2 ticking bombs on the food front, they both have more population than they have land to sustain them at current ways of production, Japan with 150 million people and the UK with 75 million people, if ever they lose access to food from Africa, Asia and America Latina they are screwed, so China with 2 billion people to feed and money to buy everything others produce is impacting that, India also is growing although India somehow is slow, maybe is all that corruption, they manage to be more corrupt than even Latin American countries or their Asian counterparts but they are growing and signs of exhaustion on the food production front have appeared, table waters are disappearing, salinity on soils increasing due to the water being used that will need more expensive equipment if you don’t want to salt the earth there which reduces productivity, so we may be able to hold off the problem if we reach 16 billion people, but it will be something like you never seen before.

In the USA people believe their orange juice is home grown, that is not true, if the US was to be forced to use only what they could produce things would look a lot grimmer.

We don’t need to kill half the population just learn how to live without the drive for “growth” and how to produce things at the individual level, everybody should be a factory.

One important thing about living, it doesn’t matter if you make money or not, what it does matter is how you learn to survive, your work is not really a job at Walmart your real work is learning to acquire the things you need with what you can find around you.

Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Sorry sir/madam, but that is incorrect.

For example, did you know that:

“The 5.8 billion people in the world today have, on average, 15 percent more food per person than the global population, of 4 billion people, had 20 years ago?”
“The world today produces enough grain to provide 3500 calories per person?”
“Food availabilities for the world as a whole are today equivalent to some 2700 kilocalories per person per day, that is up from 2300 calories 30 years ago!”

It is the poverty of millions of people who cannot afford to buy food that causes starvation. Not the lack of production and capacity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If that is true why this things keep happening?


The 2008 food price spike caused riots or civil unrest in a number of countries, including Yemen, Somalia, Senegal, Pakistan, Mozambique, Indonesia, India, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, the Philippines and Bangladesh

Source: http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/issue/facts.html

It is a dangerous thing, remember Tunisia the spark for it was the guy loosing his ability to make a living selling vegetables on the streets

One third of world’s food is wasted, says UN study

Climate change:
Climate change disrupting food production: study

Food crisis in India:
The Indian Food Crisis In One Simple Chart
Which shows the disconnect between rising incomes with available grains.

Water crisis in India:
India?s Water Crisis Is Already Here

The Worsening Water Crisis in Gujarat, India

Water crisis in the US.
Crisis feared as US water supplies dry up

The U.S. Nears the Limits of Its Water Supplies

Warming to Blame for Water Crisis in U.S. West?

China food crisis:
China’s food crisis spells end of record highs

Pressure from food is making China go out and buy land, that will not be used to feed local populations, and they are a huge country, now why are they doing that?

Other sources:


The “green revolution” started well with crop yield increases far outstripping population rises, but at some point in the 1980s crop yield growth rates started to fall and in 1990 the food production growth rate dropped below the population growth rate.

Source: Food crisis in Asia

Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Food prices are going up do to the corrupt future’s trade on wall street and the other ‘markets’

And your confusing what I wrote with land use. And Water is a completely different matter.
In any case, nothing of what you posted has anything to do with technology, population or the capacity of production. And everything to do with uncontrolled inflation and devaluation of money.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: open source ecology

As a true fan and donor to open source ecology, they embody the whole libertarian free thinker ideal. That said, the open source ecology project itself is doomed to fail in its present form due to some management issues in the farm itself.

However there have been several other groups that have spun off the framework and people network in this movement that are worth keeping a eye on.

I have learned about so many new exciting tech opportunities thru this project I am setting up my own shop to build the items that are coming out of the open source websites.

chris says:

High-tech and food are just not two things I want to hear in the same sentence. There’s more to eating than just nutrition, just like life is more than just trying to stay alive for as long as possible. Soulless lab grown food only prolongs the problem and when it reaches it’s own production limits we will be in a much worse situation than we are now. What will we do then?

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